I don’t know about you, but at my house, stuffed animals seem to appear out of nowhere. I have no idea where they come from. They’re a bit like wire coat hangers. The kids are always happy to have more even though it’s rare when I see one being played with. Today, I have a couple of suggestions about where to get rid of them (assuming you’re kids will part with them).
To be honest, the best method to get rid of a stuffed animal I have ever seen, was when I was in the Army and watched a stuffed Barney the Dinosaur get blown up by a Claymore mine. If you’re short on explosives or just prefer a more humane way to get rid or those dust collectors, there are other options. You can always try selling them if you’re having a garage sale, but from what I’ve heard they don’t usually sell very well. I recommend just donating them or, if they are in bad shape, just throw them away.
While not every charity will accept used stuffed animals, The Salvation Army in Southeast Michigan does. I don’t think they all do though, so you may need to check the one near you. Some local thrift stores will accept them as well.
One of my favorite places to send stuffed animals though is a non-profit called Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE). SAFE is a nationwide charity run by volunteers who will accept donations of stuffed animals among other things like books, crayons, blankets, clothes, and baby items. Their website states that “All stuffed animals must be ‘like new’, clean, free from stains and tears, and need to be appropriate to be given to a child in an emergency”.
The volunteers are spread throughout the country so take a look at their website to see if there is a contact near you. Also, chapters can choose what they will accept so pay attention to their list of acceptable donations.
We have one for Southeast Michigan that accepts books and blankets as well as stuffed animals. Unfortunately she’s not very close to my house. When I emailed her about donating some stuffed animals a few years ago though she was very responsive. I actually mailed her a large box of stuffed animals but you would never guess by looking at how many we still have.
The SAFE website has contact information for all of their chapters and information if you would like to start your own. They even have a stuffed animal cleaning guide that you can download. I think SAFE is by far the most worthwhile method to donate your stuffed animals that are in good condition. It did cost me some money to mail them but it was definitely worth it and I plan to do it again soon.
I think that applies to stuffed animals too.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2022
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